Almost home with Raymond
Future Habitat homeowner Raymond Donaldson is almost home! We are getting very close to finishing up construction on his "tiny home." This is the first tiny home that we have constructed, and it's going to be a perfect fit for Raymond. Thanks to Seal Energy Solutions, it even has solar panels which will make his home even more affordable due to low energy costs. Please read more about Raymond below. We can't wait to welcome Raymond home!
Hello my name is Raymond Donaldson. I am young adult who is being blessed with a tiny home through Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas. Throughout the years Habitat has helped to provide homes for several families from my church and I was curious about obtaining a home myself. Our young adult pastor, Randy Jumper, assisted me. He encouraged me along during the application process and helped me to complete the necessary requirements to submit my packet. Through prayer and the grace of God, my application was chosen. This success wasn’t made known to me until September 15th.
That was the date of Habitat's annual fundraiser ReStore & After, and Pastor Randy I were to excited to attend. While at the event my stomach was full of butterflies due to nervousness and being anxious. Normally my demeanor is more calm and collected in a crowd but given the circumstances I was a little on edge. I wanted to make a good impression and a lot of the donors and workers for Habitat were kind and helped to put me at ease. Mid-way through event, Pastor Randy went to the stage to speak and he asked me to join him. He spoke about the event and how great Habitat was, and then he turned his praises to me. He spoke about my leadership in our church’s youth ministry, how genuine of a person I was, and how proud of me he was. I was very humbled by his praises. And it was at that moment he, along with Bill Plunkett, and Officer Tommy Norman (who by the way is a phenomenal role model; I aspire to be like him) presented me the keys to my tiny home. The joy that swept through me was unimaginable. Caught completely off guard my eyes swelled with tears as my family and friends rushed in to congratulate me. Relieved, blessed, honored, thankful …all the above described my feelings in the moment.
After the event, the fun started. On October 22nd, a group from Habitat for Humanity, THV11, Delta Dental, other members from the community, and my church family helped to raise the walls on my home. I’d seen the foundation for several weeks up to that point and each time it was a blessing knowing that that little plot of land would be mine. When the actual walls went up, the feeling was cemented: I am a soon to be homeowner. There was a moment during the wall-raising where a wall tried to fall on me but luckily some friends and other workers caught it. To me it was a sign that at times when I am unable to hold the walls up, friends and family will step in to support. Or maybe I should focus more while on a work site. Not sure, but the walls went up, my happiness rose with it. From that day on whenever there was a big project to be done on the house I was there. Whether it was cleaning up the site or tying rope together to raise the roof, I helped where I could. Not only on my home did I want to help, but at other Habitat projects as well. They were proving a home to another family around the corner from my home and I assisted where I needed. Just recently there was a Rock the Block event and again I was there to assist Habitat in any way that I could.
As I’ve stated before, it is a blessing to have a home being built by Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas. Once I’m finally home, one of the things I’m looking forward to doing is giving back. When I was a student in our church’s youth ministry, our pastors always invited us over to their houses. Their homes were a safe environment where we could enjoy each other’s company but also learn about God. My home will be the same thing. My students will be welcome at all times as well as the kids in the community. That’s the biggest thing I'm looking forward to. I told the guests at ReStore & After that they won’t regret partnering with me and I won’t squander this opportunity. Because above having my own home, I am now an example of the great things God can do. I am a leader and I wear that title proudly.